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The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle and Generally Have More Funby Gretchen Rubin
Synopses & Reviews
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.
In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.
"Rubin is not an unhappy woman: she has a loving husband, two great kids and a writing career in New York City. Still, she could-and, arguably, should-be happier. Thus, her methodical (and bizarre) happiness project: spend one year achieving careful, measurable goals in different areas of life (marriage, work, parenting, self-fulfillment) and build on them cumulatively, using concrete steps (such as, in January, going to bed earlier, exercising better, getting organized, and 'acting more energetic'). By December, she's striving bemusedly to keep increasing happiness in every aspect of her life. The outcome is good, not perfect (in accordance with one of her 'Secrets of Adulthood': 'Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good'), but Rubin's funny, perceptive account is both inspirational and forgiving, and sprinkled with just enough wise tips, concrete advice and timely research (including all those other recent books on happiness) to qualify as self-help. Defying self-help expectations, however, Rubin writes with keen senses of self and narrative, balancing the personal and the universal with a light touch. Rubin's project makes curiously compulsive reading, which is enough to make any reader happy." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Practical and never preachy . . . the rare self-help tome that doesn’t feel shameful to read." Terry Hong, Christian Science Monitor
"For those who generally loathe the self-help genre, Rubin’s book is a breath of peppermint-scented air. Well-researched and sharply written...Rubin takes an orderly, methodical approach to forging her own path to a happier state of mind." Amy Scribner, Bookpage
"This book made me happy in the first five pages." AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
"A cross between the Dalai Lama's The Art of Happiness and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love." Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness
"Packed with fascinating facts about the science of happiness and rich examples of how she improves her life through changes small and big The Happiness Project made me happier by just reading it." Chris Abani, author of Graceland, Song for Night and The Virgin of Flames
The blog Hey Natalie Jean has won a cult following with writer Natalie Holbrookandrsquo;s honest, inspiring, and often witty posts on topics like marriage, babies, nesting, style, and DIY crafts. Natalieandrsquo;s first book, Hey Natalie Jean is one part manifesto and three parts ideas, projects, and advice. Beautifully illustrated and whimsically designed, the book offers 35 short essays and how-toandrsquo;s that serve as a guide to life: making date-night magic in the middle of the mundane, successfully exploring the city with a three-year-old, and creating a satisfying daily routine that still leaves room for little adventures and lots of magic.
Natalieandrsquo;s optimism, creativity, keen eye, and zeal for life are palpable, and she encourages others to make their lives beautiful with ease. This heartfelt, personal collection of essays and photographs show Natalieandrsquo;s ability to identify and describe lifeandrsquo;s lovely incidentals in the everyday routine of errands, play dates, and naps.
Veteran journalist and cancer survivor Lu Ann Cahn was feeling angry and frustrated. The economy was tanking. Her job was changing. In a word, she felt stuck.”
Something had to change. Her daughter helped convince her to start a Year of Firsts.” For the next 365 days, Cahn made a point of doing something she had never done before, every day. Before she knew it, her whole perspective on life had changed. In this inspiring book, Lu Ann recounts how a new first” everyday brought excitement and wonder back into her world. And more than that, she helps readers see how they can do it too.
Participate in a Polar Bear Plunge
Speak to a complete stranger on the street
Zip-line across a crocodile-infested Mexican lake
Spend a day in a wheelchair
Learn to Hula Hoop
About the Author
Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the bestselling Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill. She was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor when she realized that she really wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two young daughters.
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